Day 30 – I can’t believe it’s not Hamilton

This was another pretty straight forward and easier day as we were heading towards Huntly and would be stopping just before we hit the Hakarimata Range. We also knew there was going to be a nice place to stop at the end as we’d seen signs for a TA guest house called Remember Then. The place is a neat spot just off the trail with shower, kitchen, flat grass, and plenty of shade. Judy (the host) has been helpful and keeps offering lots to do lots of little things for us which is great. She also has very nice couches (specifically designated for TA hikers) that we’ve been using all evening. I’ve managed to get my ankle a bit swollen through multiple twists (no dramatic sprain just a lot of near misses) so have been using ice on it all evening. We started off today heading over another bridge across the Waikato and walking on the opposite side to yesterday. Pretty much immediately after crossing the bridge we were back on farm track. We hiked along this for awhile before coming up next to a golf course (right alongside the green and 16th fairway). There was a couple out playing but they were more kicking the ball down the fairway than actually hitting it. After that we were walking towards Huntly power station (defined by two orange tipped chimneys). We were fortunate to not run into any cows today but did have our first experience with horses. They were not at all aggressive but extremely curious and one had a particular fondness of Heather’s pack. We also saw a stile in the middle of the field with the TA sign on it with no fences or anything around it. We decided to go “off trail” around it. We passed the power station and crossed into Huntly to resupply for the night and following morning at the local Countdown. Crossing back over another bridge on the way out of Huntly we walked the last 5km (I limped a bit) to the RememberThen house with great views up towards tomorrow’s range.

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